Eisenman debates Wolf D Prix at a crit -- Google Video


And the winner is...?


Oct 13, 07 10:00 pm
we're in this together

wow greg lynn in the background and jeff kipnis popping in right at the end ..

wolf prix wins (with the electric guitar analogy) and eisenman is just frustrated with 35+ years of critiquing student work 'why don't this kids get it'

god i hate when critics act like the student isn't there - eisenman is a bore in making his point

Oct 13, 07 10:44 pm

So that's why tuition is so costly. It's bullshit perfected!

Oct 13, 07 11:02 pm

jeff kipnis - haha. eisenman and prix probably didn't get a word in after he showed up.

Oct 13, 07 11:17 pm

Isn't "I don't believe you can teach architecture" sort of a cop-out -- a way to say nothing, while trying to think of something to say ?

Oct 13, 07 11:19 pm

"I don't believe in teaching architecture"

And I don't believe in paying you $50000 a semester to teach me.

Oct 13, 07 11:21 pm

thanks for posting that by the way

Oct 13, 07 11:22 pm

do we have to know paladio to create architecture?

does mac need to know how to make a sony walkman inorder to create ipod?

Oct 13, 07 11:25 pm

and what would a monkey do if you put it in front of peter eisenman?

Oct 13, 07 11:33 pm
vado retro

if you put enough monkeys in a room you may get a decent crit, or not.

Oct 13, 07 11:34 pm

ugh, poor student.

Oct 13, 07 11:39 pm
vado retro

the proper comparison would have been between borromini and bernini who were rivals in rome. not between palladio and borromini as even a monkey would know the difference between these two.

Oct 13, 07 11:39 pm

yeah.. but I do think the monkey holding the cigar makes better points than the monkey holding the paper airplane.

Oct 13, 07 11:44 pm
vado retro

a cigar smoking monkey is always a hit at the crit. paper airplanes are shit though as they were invented by bucky the monkey fuller.

Oct 13, 07 11:46 pm

I don't think Borromini ever speced EIFS on his buildings.

Oct 13, 07 11:49 pm

Buckminster Fuller was an architect ? News to me. . .

Oct 13, 07 11:50 pm
vado retro

borromini used some elegant monkey fur wall coverings.

Oct 13, 07 11:53 pm

Oct 13, 07 11:55 pm
Ben Foster

imagine the nightmare of an all nighter 'finishing' your project, realizing that eisenmann is going to critique you that morning

Oct 14, 07 2:46 am

sounds like a typical stararchitect crit - always going back to over generalized discussions that seem interesting, but afterwards your like what did I just listen to?

Oct 14, 07 8:58 am

hey, the video was taken at 2001, i'm sure wolf prix now can tell just eisenman to shut the fuck up period.

Oct 14, 07 9:50 am
vado retro

bernini was a crazy motherfucker and if he would have received a crit like this he would have slashed petey's face. there is precedent for this as is evidenced by his behaviour after finding out that his brother was sleeping with his mistress. he nearly beat his brother to death and had his servant go to his mistresses house and, after she opened the door to allow the servant in, slash his mistresses face. the result? the brother was exiled, the mistress( a married woman) was convicted of adultery and bernini? he was forced by the church to get married and settle down. and borromini? he killed himself.

Oct 14, 07 9:51 am

don't you have a Constitution in the US that protects civilans against this kind of abuse? .. this is insulting, that girl should have kicked Eisenman's ass for the waste of time of hearing this kind of ridiculous babble.. should I recite the characteristics of a corinthian capital or compare the work of Ledoux to Boulleé before explaining how my fireman station in Montana relates to the neighbouring hospital or why my school in Guadalajara has to have a beige stucco facade? ... what an asshole

Oct 14, 07 10:20 am

Unfortunately Medit, this isn't all that unusual. I had quite a few flashbacks to my education AND to crits where I was on the jury. It's so strange when it becomes an ego filled argument between the jury members. Very selfish and unprofessional.

vado you crack me up.

Oct 14, 07 10:59 am

jones - that's how all the stararchitect crits I had went - it always turned into a discussion amongst the jury, rarely doing much for the student. Entertaining, but not helpful.

Medit - this crit was pretty reasonable, overall. Looking at random blobs with unreasonable structure (if any), etc., etc., can only lead someone to say 'pretty picture, but what the hell am I looking at'.

If this was 2001 that makes prefect sense, just about the top of the blob bubble.

I've seen plenty of crits that left someone crying. You do need to develop a strong skin if you want to keep getting better and be able to respond to critiques (by making a conscious decision to accept the comments, challenge them or disregard them).

Oct 14, 07 11:10 am
vado retro

hey petey, borromini's primary criticism of bernini was of his techinal innefficiencies. ie Bernini's towers at st. peter's. just think of the field day he would have had with your eifs b.s.

Oct 14, 07 11:22 am
The Bernini brothers on stage

--theatrics x 2 indeed.

Comparatively, Eisenman and Prix, theatrics x 0.

Oct 14, 07 11:22 am

Too bad Rita Novel and Wolfhilde von Schlittenfahrt are never asked to be on any architectural juries. Arts & Entertainment x 2 indeed!

Oct 14, 07 11:35 am

yes I've seen people crying after a final crit too.. especially after a couple of allnighters, but they usually cried because the professors attacked their projects with some unusual severity and crudeness .. teachers also have bad days, and its obvious that they have their preferences, developed as the course has gone by, for some reason some students seem to deserve more attention and good manners than others.. that's very typical everywhere I guess.. with starchitects and not

but this clip, even if it is decontextualized -it only shows 5 min. of bar babble and who cares if Prix's son plays guitar after 50+ hours with no sleep?-, and wether her project was an unbuidable blob or not, only goes to show that Eisenman should waste less time in a pedagogical center and more in the mud of his City of Culture in Galiza doing some detailing, because what is this girl learning from this conversation at all? ... that is school not a TV show, you go there to learn something not to watch a "funny" performance/dialogue between "famous" people... I'd personally ask the school's dean to give me my money back (well, maybe I won't get in that kind of bureacratic mess, but I'd really be very tempted...)

the rest of the guys in that room -Lynn and whoever sits there- laughing at this sort of boring public slaughtering looks quite patethic as well... maybe less famous architecture schools doesn't have starchitects at their crits but they probably make better use of their time than this -assuming, as Trace says, that this is how most crits with starchitects end up being-

Oct 14, 07 11:45 am
vado retro

Petey (sung to Elton John's hit Daniel)

Petey is travelling tonight on a plane
Gonna meet up with Wolf and do a crit again
Oh and I can see Petey in his preppy bowtie
God it sounds like Petey, that explains the glazed look in the student's eyes.

They say critiques are nasty yeah thats what i've heard
Well when Petey gets talkin' you ain't gonna get in a word
Oh and he should know, he's been there enough
Lord put a sock in it petey, oh you talk way too much

Petey, my critter you are older than me
you can't teach architecture, by the way who the hell is borromini?
Your comments have killed my spirit and frankly i don't need to hear it.
Petey you're a star in somebody's eyes.

Petey is travelling tonight on a plane
Gonna meet up with Wolf and do a crit again
Oh and I can see Petey in his preppy bowtie
God it sounds like Petey, that explains the glazed look in the student's eyes.

Oct 14, 07 11:47 am

Now I get it! Eisenman and Prix are reenacting some random archinect/forum thread, and this thread is now reenacting that reenactment.

"Is your wavelength VHF or UHF?"

Oct 14, 07 12:00 pm

No doubt she'll be invited to do a summer intenship of 12 hour days, non payed of course.

Oct 14, 07 12:07 pm
Oct 14, 07 12:42 pm

Oh my god! I'm in that line!

Oct 14, 07 1:03 pm

Did anyone notice that the video clip is dated at the beginning--21 Jan 03?

Oct 14, 07 2:25 pm
vado retro

...and the crit ain't over yet... that poor girl's still standing there, permanently scarred by that chimpanzee comment.

Oct 14, 07 2:27 pm
Carl Douglas (agfa8x)

All seems fairly good-humoured to me. I don't see any extraordinary egoism here. Eisenman raises a concern about how Prix teaches his studio, and they discuss it informally. Nobody attacks the student. Eisenman just confesses he doesn't know what to make of the work.

Oct 14, 07 2:30 pm
vado retro

well if you think a comparison to monkeys in front of typewriters not being able to create literature cuz they don't what literature isn't an attack i don't know what is....speaking of monkeys, back to my electrical plan.

Oct 14, 07 2:33 pm
Chase Dammtor

why are people so down on eisenman in general? why is he the architect everyone loves to hate on? he's can come across as mean at times, but he's really got tons of interesting things to say in general. he's been so influential on architecture in a good way...we should have a little more respect. criticism is fine, but a lot of what i see on archinect and elsewhere about eisenman (i.e. this thread) borders on childish ranting and insults.

Oct 14, 07 3:14 pm

agfa8x -and as vado say-. I understand he's calling the girl a "monkey"? - if a monkey can't produce literature "you" can't produce architecture...

of course he's not saying it while looking at the girl's face - so apart of being rude he's a coward, ... if you pretend to be so sarcastic about a student's work -did he expect a masterpiece or what?- at least have the balls -or decency- to share that sarcasm not only with your colleagues but with the student too..

I don't think I had ever been compared to a monkey in a crit back in school... I don't know how I'd have reacted to that, but not very peacefully I think..

Oct 14, 07 3:21 pm
Chase Dammtor

after watching the video again, my analysis is:

he's pretty rude to be using some poor student's project as a scapegoat about which to espouse his personal philosophies are what architecture should or should not be. he's a very opinionated man and doesn't always come across with the most social grace or nice ways of saying things. but quite honestly, he's no more rude than many, many other well-known critics. and deep down, he's not meaning to be insulting, he's just using the girl's project to raise some important issues. and he's got a lot of really interesting things to say.

Oct 14, 07 3:45 pm
Carl Douglas (agfa8x)

Suck it up! You'd have to offend pretty easily to feel like you were being called a monkey after that. Monkeys with typewriters is an old trope, and Eisenman is using it to challenge Prix, not the student.

Oct 14, 07 3:45 pm

just as long as there wasnt a teacher attackin a student then it's all good...... "gator lock" WHAT!!!!!


Oct 14, 07 3:49 pm

What, no comment on the student's bodacious ta-tas. . .?

Oct 14, 07 4:06 pm

at least they were distracting me from her face.


I think i'm gonna do more of these from now on.

Oct 14, 07 4:07 pm

the classy critics hold that conversation 'til the end so that it IS about the instructor, not the individual student. eisenman, though, is usually a very good and astute critic. he must have been tired from the flight....

check out the project though. goodness, i have no idea what i'd say. 'next!'

Oct 14, 07 4:10 pm

the girl's one of Prix's students and if Eisenman says that Prix can't make "his monkeys" to create anything that resembles architecture he's calling that girl a monkey! - that's not primary school, that's university... save your tropes for your damn books or learn what tropes you should use in front of an adult person, student or not!

and I'm not called a monkey not directly or through any stupid proverb by any pseudo-intellectual no matter how famous... if he's got a theory to develop regarding Prix methods of teaching architecture go plan some damn seminary and discuss it there .. I understand that crit was to criticize especifically that girl's project?

what the fuck, should I've been in that girl's place I'd have become Bernini's grand-son in a moment... I mean, this guy is just a damn architect, one of many no matter what, House IV, Cannaregio, stupid reactionary conservatism or whatever...

Oct 14, 07 4:11 pm

I suppose I'm the last one on Earth (as usual) to have seen this. . .

Are there interior views of this, anywhere ?

Oct 14, 07 4:33 pm
vado retro

is that wolf prix's son on pieano?

Oct 14, 07 5:11 pm

The guitar analogy isn't entirely accurate, because rock and roll is based on a very structured and established framework ie: the 12 bar blues. One can critique the degree to which an artist stretches that framework in creating something new, but when you stretch the work beyond the reach of the framework, you've most likely crossed over into a different genre, or (very rarely, if ever), created a new genre.

I think what Eisenman is getting at is if, in a School of Architecture, one cannot put a design in the context of the continuity of Architectural language as one basis of a critique, how can you critique it? It seems you’re left only with a subjective response.

I suppose one can respond to the designer’s strategy for arriving at the ‘Blob’, but if the strategy has no basis in function, or structure, or isn’t a critique of traditional means of accommodating a particular function or context, you may not be talking about Architecture any more.

I know it is all very post-modern, and our subjective response can create the context of our critique. I guess the ultimate test is to try to understand the design without the designer’s apologia.

Now there would an interesting crit.

Oct 14, 07 8:24 pm

Design that "explains itself" ? I suppose that's always the ideal, but (you could say) the more complex the object, the longer it can take to "read" it. A building might take twelve months at a minimum to explain its motives.

Is the blob the definitive break with architectural tradition, dependent entirely on late-twentieth-century technology and independent entirely (?) from classical form and reason ?

Oct 14, 07 8:50 pm

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